Each day as we work with our guests, we are given the blessing of perspective. Many of our guests have the same struggles that we do: family issues, illness, struggling to find a job, the stress of paying bills. However, on top of these somewhat typical struggles, many of our guests are also living outside. The burden of living outside can make even the most manageable issues seem impossible.
One of our art volunteers, Carrie Przybilla, wrote the following reflection back in August about finding perspective in the midst of difficulty:
“I have been sick in bed with a cold all weekend. I suspect I picked up a bug last Monday from one of the regulars at Central OAC’s art ministry. We provide art materials and a creative space to work as part of the services offered to guests. Many of those who take part are occupying themselves while waiting for assistance. A few are regulars looking to draw, converse, charge their phones, nap, or escape the elements.
When Roger* sneezed I remember hoping it wasn’t something contagious. Alas. As I lay in my bed yesterday downing Tylenol and cough medicine, my spouse making chicken soup and my daughter poking her head in to check on me every hour, I started to think about Roger. Was he feeling as lousy as I was? Where does a person experiencing homelessness go when they are sick? We’ve had thunderstorms the last few days. Does Roger have someplace dry to rest? Does he have cough medicine or Tylenol? Does he have someone to make him chicken soup?
Perspective. That’s what Roger’s given me. He is in my prayers.”
Lack of healthcare and lack of a safe place to recover from illness or injury are not only inconvenient, they can have severe or even fatal consequences. Of course, having a cough and a fever is unpleasant, even if you have a soft bed to lay in. But imagine how much worse a common cold would be if you had to fight it outside in the rain.
When we help our guests obtain Georgia ID, we help them gain access to healthcare and housing options. Back in September, we wrote about one of our guests who was able to get emergency surgery on his arm thanks to his new Georgia ID. Getting ID can help guests like Roger secure a place stay and a job with which to pay for housing so that, next time he has a cold, Roger can recover in a nice warm bed with some chicken soup.